The “Y”

By: Grant Dudley
Jyll Everman

FNS7 Episode 8 Rachael Ray Star Challenge

FNS7 Episode 8 Contestant Jyll Everman giving her live demo at the Rachael Ray Show Star Challenge.

Photo by: Edward Chen/Creel Films ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

Edward Chen/Creel Films, 2011, Television Food Network, G.P.

The judges made the absolute correct decision in sending Jyll with a y home. She performed well, but compared to the others she just wasn’t compelling enough. Even Whitney, who like Jyll with a y has been criticized for being too polished and not engaging enough, brought amazing energy to the Rachael Ray show. Never too bad, but never too good, Jyll with a y didn’t resonate with me. Frankly, the only thing I’ll remember about her is that persistent “y.”

Back to Whitney. Don’t you feel she, more than anyone, has grown exponentially from episode to episode? She has taken some hard licks from the judges, but Whitney seems to really absorb what they say and learn from the criticism. A friend recently pointed out that she looks a lot like Rachael — I never saw it until this episode. Seeing them side by side, I agree.

Jeff was supremely impressive. The man can make any sandwich look good. I am sooo not a fan of pork chops — the thought of them makes me cringe. However, I have to admit I was intrigued by Jeff’s pork chop/applesauce sandwich. I would actually give that creation a try (and that’s huge for me).

Mary Beth has a fan in Grant Dudley. I enjoy her personality. She’s warm, funny and there’s something about her that keeps me interested. I can’t quite describe her impact on me, but I’ll tell you this: I tend to do a thousand things while watching Star and most other TV shows (typing an email, looking for a snack in the fridge, searching for the remote, etc. ). When Mary Beth hits the TV screen, I stop all of that other stuff and pay full attention. She has a definite presence.

Vic: Bobby didn’t seem very impressed with his lasagna/chimichanga (“lachanga”) creation, but I loved it! Chimichangas and lasagna are two of my favorite dishes, and the thought of mixing the two pleased me tremendously. Vic, the others may not have thought that was a great combination, but I’m feeling you, bro.

Finally, Susie J. Now that Orchid is gone, Susie has stolen my heart a bit. I agreed with Susie Fogelson’s assessment that she needed to stop apologizing for Mexican food and its “stereotypes.” I think Susie J. is trying to get across that Mexican food can be elegant, but my question is, why does it need to be? I guess a hamburger can be elegant, too. But who wants that?

The clock is ticking — we’re getting closer and closer to the end here.

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